Journalistic integrity is dead, and sensationalism reigns supreme. Originally posted 1/1/12.

Back in July when I reposted my old Rantlister interview with Lord Galen of SnipeMe, I mentioned that one of the features of his site was guest submissions, and that I even submitted one once. At the time I wasn’t sure when exactly I submitted the article, or if I could even salvage it from the depths of the internet.

I finally got around to checking, and as it turns out the Internet Archive did in fact manage to preserve my submission, a rant on the lack of journalistic integrity in news reporting and the overall dumbing down of the media. As it also turns out, I had submitted it way later than I thought I did. For some reason I thought it had been posted in 2010, but it was actually posted on January 1st, 2012. Hell of a way for Galen to ring in the new year, posting an article by yours truly.

Anyhow, I’m republishing this article because, quite frankly, it still rings very true even almost 12 years later. Journalistic integrity is dead, replaced by sensationalism and not-so-subtle slant. Gone are the days of “Just the facts, ma’am”, now the “journalists” are telling us what we should think and how we should feel about things. News reporting has become one giant editorial. Most of my old articles didn’t age well at all, but this is one that definitely did.

I also wasn’t sure if I should consider this part of the Rantlister Archives or not. I’m going to take the middle ground on this one and categorize it as such, but not include “Rantlister Archives” in the title or title card.

On a related note, I was digging through old files and found a shit ton of old stuff I wrote before I had this site (anyone else remember Tripod and the “.tk” domain extension?). Depending on how “rough” those articles are, I may repost some of them to AJnet in the future.

Annnnnywayyyyy… here’s my old article, “Journalistic Integrity is Dead”, originally posted on as a guest submission on January 1st, 2012.



Those are the words boldly displayed on the front page of the Philadelphia Daily News.

The article in question is about a local radio DJ (whose mugshot is also displayed on the front page) committing some type of fraud. This is apparently big news, but I know none of the details. Quite frankly, I don’t care to know them.

The back cover of the newspaper is dedicated to local sports teams. This page has a picture of the Philadelphia Eagles with the words “BOMBS AWAY?” bombastically displayed beneath the team. Philadelphians really love their sports. In fact, it’s all I ever hear my coworkers talk about. “Hey man, how about those Birds/Phils/Flyers?” People will buy an entire newspaper just to discard everything but the sports section. I outgrew watching sports when I turned 13, although I confess that I will watch the occasional hockey or football game with my friends. There’s just too many damn rules in sports today. You have a bunch of large strong men making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year (sometimes millions), and they aren’t allowed to be too rough with each other? That’s crap.

I digress.

The cost of the aforementioned newspaper: $1. One dollar to read a bunch of sloppily-written sensationalistic stories with spelling errors that both confuse and infuriate. I ask myself if this is what the people really want, if maybe the world has just a shred of dignity left within it. Are people so ignorant as to enjoy this moronic mass of mush written for people with a 4th grade reading level? My question is immediately answered by a loud ignorant voice beckoning across the work area: “HEY MAN HOW ABOUT THAT GAME LAST NIGHT?” Yeah, how about it?

I hear your dissertation now. “But AJ, that’s just the Daily News. There are other papers that are much better, like the New York Times or the Washington Post!”

No. Stop right there.

Yes, the New York Times and the Washington Post are written a little better than the Daily News. Yes, they focus a little less on sensationalistic stories. If we were to judge it solely by its reading level, it would definitely outrank many papers in the country. Not to say much for the quality of American media.

Their biggest and most glaring flaw is the obvious political slants that pollute their articles. Here’s an excerpt from the first article I saw on the New York Times’ website:

“Dozens of Iranian protesters screaming ‘death to England!’ stormed the vast British embassy compound in central Tehran on Tuesday, tore down the British flag, smashed windows and ransacked the offices in what appeared to be an officially sanctioned protest of Britain’s particularly tough economic sanctions against Iran over its suspect nuclear energy program.”

“…in what appeared to be an officially sanctioned protest…”. Okay, so obviously the author of this article has some form of proof that these protests were sanctioned by the Iranian government, right? Nope. Here’s the author’s rationale for his claim:

“Although the official Iranian media characterized the protest as a genuine outburst of popular anger against Britain, it was clear that the event had been ordained by the authorities, who in the past have orchestrated attacks on embassies, storming in only at the last minute. Iran’s security forces and its Basij militia have maintained strict control over mass protests in Iran since the disputed election of 2009.

Images transmitted from the scene showed riot police standing by during the assault and later helping protesters inside the embassy grounds go back to the street outside. Press TV, a government news web site, said police dispersed the demonstrators and were ‘protecting the embassy building and the documents inside.’”

So the author’s claim that the protests were sanctioned by the government is based on the past behavior of Iranian security forces? This is what passes for evidence nowadays? You’re writing an article meant to be accepted as truth, you pompous jackass. Unless the Iranian government explicitly came out with a statement saying that they supported the attack, this is only your opinion. Opinion has no place in an article meant to be accepted as a factual account of an event, and only serves to influence the weak-minded. What’s so hard about telling us what happened without inserting your opinion into the story? Yeah, I would probably draw the same conclusions myself, but those conclusions don’t matter. Your job is to report, not to commentate. Just shut the fuck up and tell us what happened without giving us your asinine analysis.

This is the biggest problem that plagues the media. We can never just hear what happened. We have to hear it from a liberal or conservative point of view. Obviously we’re too stupid to form our own opinion based on evidence, so the reporters have to form it for us.

I guess that’s why they make the big bucks, right?

Fuck the media, and fuck the retards who buy an entire newspaper just for the sports section.

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By Angry_Jerk

The CEO/Editor-in-chief of AJnet, and the current king of internet ranting. Hailing from the fine village of Northeast Philadelphia, AJ has been creating content on the internet for over 15 years. None of it has really been funny or entertaining, but he keeps trying anyway. When he’s not creating new articles for the site, he can be found hitting the weights, watching anime, or playing retro video games.